Child Maintenance

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Child Maintenance2024-05-17T09:31:06+01:00

In family law, both parents are legally responsible for the financial costs of bringing up their children. When a couple separates, child maintenance must be arranged. This is when one parent pays the other parent for the child’s living costs. Generally, the paying parent is not living with the child and maintenance payments are required until the child reaches the age of 16 years (or under 20 years if they are still in full-time education). It’s important to note that child maintenance is separate from other financial arrangements such as spousal maintenance or the division of assets.

For more legal advice on child maintenance, please contact us

How Can Child Maintenance Be Arranged?

Private Agreement

Child maintenance can be arranged through a private agreement. This involves a discussion between both parents over the amount of child maintenance to be paid, the frequency of payments and any other conditions. This is the most flexible way of arrangement as the specific needs of the child can be met and conditions can be altered if the circumstances of either parent change in the future.

Consent Order

If both parents fail to come to a mutual private agreement, a consent order can be drafted by a solicitor, signed by both parents and approved by the court. Once approved, it becomes a legally binding document. A consent order outlines the agreed terms on how finances and properties will be divided between parents including child maintenance payments. If circumstances of either party change, for example, re-marriage or pay rise, it can be amended and re-approved by the court.

Child Maintenance Service

If a private agreement or consent order is not feasible, it can be taken through the Child Maintenance Service. This is a government agency which calculates, collects and transfers child maintenance payments on behalf of the parents. The receiving parent (who has the main day-to-day care for the child) usually applies to the Child Maintenance Service, they will assess the non-resident parent’s income and benefits, and then process a maintenance claim. If the paying parent fails to cooperate, the CMS can issue a notice and take them to court over unpaid child maintenance payments.

Speak To Us About Child Maintenance 

When a marriage or relationship breaks down, seeking advice on child laws and finances should be a top priority. Whether you hope to come to a Private Agreement, require a Consent Order, or need an assessment from the Child Maintenance Service, Beeston Shenton Solicitors are legal experts and can assist you in the next step to take for your child’s future. Our team of family solicitors have a wealth of experience in all aspects of family law, from drafting consent orders to reviewing paperwork accurately. Letting us assist you also allows you more time to spend with your children and care for them.

Should you require legal assistance or need a consent order drafted, reviewed or amended, contact us today by calling us on 0178 266 2424 or emailing us at

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